Full disclosure, I call this day one, but it’s actually post #1. I wrote it day one,
but I’m going to post Tuesday & Thursday.
For those who followed my previous crazy journey’s, you know I abandoned updating you about day…34. I feel bad about that. I intended to blog my way through what I knew would be a tough season. I meant for the blog to help me remember that my life is bigger than the giant, difficult, “thing” that looms at me. I stopped blogging because I got way too busy and as I thought might happen, my life quickly became all about the big thing.
Side Note: I feel like this is a common challenge for creatives. Christian creatives, like me, must find ways to keep God in our planning & doing. God is always doing a work in us, and through us. It’s easy to get distracted by either one and end up off kilter. I believe the key to Roman’s 8:28 is understanding what God’s idea of good is. In general, God’s goal is to build intimacy with us, and to build our character (so we can receive/contain/disperse more kingdom.)
Specifically God’s idea of good for us individually can be found by asking two questions (which I shamelessly stole from Graham Cooke): 1) who is God being for me in this season? 2) Who does God say that I am (now and historically)?
If you struggle with those questions a great way to expose limiting beliefs is to ask yourself (prayerfully of course):
3) who do I say God is?
Sitting with these questions, periodically, never fails to reveal what season I’m in and often where I’m at in the season. I’ll go into more about this season later in this post (it’s really exciting), but first I want to close out the last season.
How Last Season Ended + Links:
Feel free to skip down to the update section if you’re all caught up on this blog.
It’s probably easy to assume that I stopped blogging because I utterly failed at my goals. Actually, Spring 2021 Cleric Journey had a lot of success. Something I notice since I’ve been tracking my journeys is that most seasons are a mix of wins and losses. Either way I glean more wisdom from them now that I track them better, which is the short version of why started blogging them last Spring. My hope is that you could learn from my experiences and get inspired to have you’re own.
A rough season is unavoidable, the loss happens when you don’t learn anything from it. It’s like paying to go to a concert and then not going. You’re still out the money. The blog is my way of sharing the souvenirs. Quite selfishly, I also hoped that by publicly committing to it I’d follow through more. I’m on the fence about how well that worked, but I’m still willing to try it again.
For those of you confused by the way I use the term Journey here’s a quick recap. When I see big changes coming, or a big project I like to create a focused plan for it. The main reason is that I have several things that are important to me, and sometimes its okay to scale back something important to make room for a life priority. However, as a Christian creative, I quickly dry out and get grumpy. I can’t live a prolonged season under the tyranny of the urgent.
I’m a writer (fiction/non-fiction/copy). It takes a certain amount of focus and time to write a book. I can get just as lost in a creative project as I can in say…renovating a house my wife and I bought with my mom. So the challenge, and I do enjoy the process, is to discern a plan that allocates resources to the big project of my current season without drawing things like health, family, and my spiritual life down to zero.
So How did Spring 2021 Cleric Journey Go? You can read for yourself at the links below or skip down to the recap/update.
Another link that might help if you’re new is this one which I wrote before starting the last season I tried to blog through. It explains what I was trying to do in blogging out my seasons: Christian Influence Peddling.
Last Season Goals Recap:
A major inspiration for “Spring 2021 Cleric Journey” was turning 50. You’ll be glad to know that I did in fact turn 50 last June. My wife through a huge party for me (she’s awesome like that) and I really felt loved that whole month. I knew I had some head junk to work on going into it. I created a “Fit by 50” plan which with a few tweaks continues to be relevant. I even took a grief recovery class to officially mourn the things that didn’t go as planned in the first half of my life. I thought I was prepared.
I was NOT. I know it’s just a number, but this one pounded me. I can’t explain, it just did a number on me. I’m so glad I prepared as much as I did. Combined with letting the house renovation really take over my focus I felt in a tale spin the last half of April to the end of June. Praise God July I got my feet back under me. I’m excited to give details about the next big season that’s starting now (later in this post).
The Transition Season: On the Topic of July. When I got to the end of May and still hadn’t completed the renovation, I started getting depressed. It felt like it would never end. I pushed hard, but there was always another 3 days of solid work no matter how long or fast I worked. After a few arguments with my wife I went to God and he said that I was in a transition season. I needed to take my foot off the striving pedal and rest/recover/recreate for awhile. So that’s exactly what I did for June and July.
My goals/priorities last season–addressed in one project (One Big Thing), include
– Losing weight & getting younger, (soon auditioning new diet/exercise plans).
– Bed by 9:30 PM & getting up at 5 AM every weekday and spending time with God (which includes writing this blog).
– Launching the coaching arm of my writing/coaching business, and faithfully stewarding opportunities with my church.
– Remodeling a new home so that we can start living multi-generational with my mom.
I maintained my weight loss through the end of May. Even though my birthday month was awesome I still hardly gained much, maybe 3 lbs. Then in July I gained another 4 lbs and I knew it was time to start a new season.
My sleeping schedule mirrored my weigh management except that I started oversleeping in June and could shake it for most of July. I have about a week of getting up earlier, if not quite 5 AM. So a running start on this new season for sure. I never stopped spending time each morning with God although there were some pretty dry sessions. I’m glad to get back to a more normal regimen with sleeping and connecting with God.
I’ve been settling in with the opportunities at my church. Its slow progress but I’m at peace with it. I haven’t launched my coaching side of things, however, God promised to increase my copy-writing business through no effort of my own, purely as a gift. He did that like crazy in July so I feel super blessed. Coaching launch is not forgotten, simply delayed for another season.
The House Remodel Recap:
We got mom’s main-floor master conversion done. As well as moving laundry room, building a closet, moving the HVAC, and building mom a purgola for her porch area. We discovered that some of our plans did’t quite work, like sharing an office with my wife. That meant moving her office out to the laundry room, then moving it back and moving mine downstairs to the family room. Yeah, these were frustrating developments.
What kills you is often the thousand little things like hanging house numbers and painting the new doors…we replaced 7 doors and put in 2 new ones. Every time I hear about the one we reused in a different spot I almost lose my mind. But I’m praying for peace. Here’s a couple more pictures. Like I say I stopped tracking it all and just worked sun up to sun set.
The clean up also took a long time. But we are pretty close to finished. We’re building a small storage shed on the property but that should be done in a week or so. I’ve got some fun adventures coming in this next season so I can’t wait to fill you in on what comes next.
The New Season:
Ok I don’t have all this new season set yet, but I have some exciting things worth announcing, so I’ll start typing what I know and, who knows, I might get more clarity before I’m done. (That’s part of the fun of being a creative.)
To start, it’s worth a quick note that I build my journey plans around four quadrants that reflect my values/priorities b/c part of the goal of doing these is to not neglect important areas of my life. One goal is to avoid overwhelm another is to avoid chronic survival mode syndrome. My quadrants change and clarify over the years but right now they’re Relationship (God/Family/Friends), Health, Wealth, Wisdom (Organization).
My goals/priorities last season–addressed in one project (One Big Thing), include
* Losing weight (Using Optivia to kick start things – more info to come).
* Bed by 9:30 PM & getting up at 5:30 AM weekdays, time with God (which includes writing this blog).
* Launching the coaching arm of my writing/coaching business.
* Finish work on new home without losing my peace.
Note: There is more details to come on each of these projects throughout this week.